Creating a Pie Chart in Excel

Pie charts are a type of graph where a circle is divided into portions (slice) that display the contribution of each section to a total value (pie). This type of chart is commonly used to visually show proportions of a whole. For example, how much each quarterly sale contribute to annual sales. In this article, we are going to cover how to make a pie chart in excel, pie chart examples, its elements and layout.

BASIC APPLICATION – HOW TO CREATE A PIE CHART IN EXCEL

Suppose you have a quarterly sales data for the year 2018 as shown in Figure A. Sales Data which you want to create a pie chart. This can be done by utilising Microsoft Excel’s pie chart creator.

Figure A. Sales Data

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Figure B. Create a Pie Chart

  1. To start, select your data series by highlighting the range where your data is located. In this case, highlight range B5:F6 (cells B5 to F5 and B6 to F6), where figures in Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 will be the slices and its total will be the whole pie.

  2. After selecting the series range, go to Insert Tab.

  3. Click the Insert Pie icon.

  4. Select the regular 2D Pie. This will create a pie chart based on your data as shown in Figure B. Create a Pie Chart


CUSTOMISE AND EDIT PIE CHART


The chart that is created by Microsoft Excel’s pie chart creator uses default style and colour. Even so, you will still be able to customise the chart based on your preference.

One of the easiest and fastest ways for this is to change the chart style. Moreover, you can also edit its elements via Add Chart Elements option. These elements for Pie Chart are Chart Title, Data Labels and Legend. There are also options for Quick Layout and Change Colors.

  • TO CHANGE CHART STYLE:

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Figure C. Change Chart Style

  1. Click on the pie chart you have created.

  2. Then click the Design Tab, this will provide you different style options as shown in Figure C. Change Chart Style.

  3. You can expand the option to show more styles by clicking the arrow pointing down at the right most part of the chart styles.

  4. Once you have decided the style you like, you can click on it and it will be applied to your chart. For this example, let us select Style 7.

  • TO ADD CHART ELEMENTS:

Figure D. Add Chart Elements


  1. Click on the pie chart you have created.

  2. Then click the Design Tab, this will show you an option from the ribbon to Add Chart Elements.

  3. Click Add Chart Elements.

  4. Click on Data Labels.

  5. Select Outside End. This will then add data labels in your pie chart as shown below.

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Figure E. Chart Elements Output

  • TO CHANGE COLOUR:

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Figure F. Change Chart Colour

  1. Click on the pie chart you have created.

  2. Then click the Design Tab, this will show you an option to change colour.

  3. Click Change Colors.

  4. Select your preferred colour palette.

  • TO CHANGE LAYOUT:

  1. Click on the pie chart you have created.

  2. Then click the Design Tab, this will show you an option from the ribbon to Quick Layout.

  3. Click Quick Layout.

  4. Select your preferred layout as necessary.

If you would like to read more about this topic, check out the Microsoft guide in this link: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/add-a-pie-chart-1a5f08ae-ba40-46f2-9ed0-ff84873b7863#__toc348714905